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Sports stars earn substantial incomes compared to an average Australian worker. The official benchmark of average Australian earnings is just above AUS$50,000. However, compared to Layton Hewitt, who receives millions in endorsements and prize money each year, this figure is diminutive. Another example is Venus Williams, 20, is the highest-paid woman athlete in the world. She has a contract with sportswear manufacturer Reebok International Inc. that pays her $40 million over five years. This may seem as a step forward for womankind but others view it as a business deal for more money than one will ever need. The disparity between hard working citizens and sporting legends leads us to question their contribution to society.
Many ‘heroes’ are created and mostly because of sporting prowess. Yet, there are some things that are more significant that Olympic glory, contract negotiations and the score of the game. Professions that benefit mankind do not receive nearly as much attention or money but remain essential to society. Through a different perspective, it is becomes obvious that doctors and teachers are in fact underpaid. People who can hit or kick a ball are idolised while others who save lives struggle to gain recognition. What values are we teaching? Or more importantly, not teaching?
Sports stars exhibit their talent through winning and rank. However, through success many values are taught. Values such as personal responsibility, integrity and respect for one’s self and others are replaced with greed, selfishness and ‘I win-you lose’ mentality. It is sad to think that sport and brilliant sport stars will become emblems of greed and selfishness.
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